King Drive-In

4601 S. Lamar Street,
Dallas, TX 75215

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dallasmovietheaters on November 23, 2013 at 1:53 am

The original Grand Opening for the Cinderella Drive-In was held December 16, 1950. It was the last of the Dallas' area drive-ins to open in the year 1950. The boom year saw the opening of the Hines Blvd. D-I, Jefferson D-I, Hampton Road D-I, South Loop D-I, Garland Road D-I, Denton Road D-I and – just four days earlier – the Samuell Boulevard D-I. At the Cinderella, the kids got free Lash LaRue comic books and they opened with “Return of the Frontiersman.” They say that they had 2,000 parking spaces and sported a five-story high theater. Another pledge was to be a family friendly drive-in. While it didn’t end that way for the Cinderella when it became the King, the original owners stuck to that business plan.

The Cinderella did play its first world premiere film in 1952 with the exploitation Tower Films' release, “Teen-age Menace.” New owners Ed Bowen and Ted Lewis took on the theater in January of 1958 equipping the Cinderella with its 50x100 panoramic screen with relatively new speakers and had a grand re-opening of the “new” Cinderella with “Baby Face Nelson,” “Running Target,” and “Gun Glory.” Appears as though new owners were in place in March of 1959. The theater closes in the 1960s as the neighboring Starlite, an African American drive-in, just continued to draw audiences.

The Cinderella would go after the Starlite audience relaunching as the King Drive-In and is taken on by the McLendon circuit re-opening July 29, 1970 with Jim Brown’s “The Grasshopper.“ McLendon dropped the King after a Dec. 1975 double-feature of “TNT Jackson” and “The Big Bird Cage.” It becomes an independent who adds a second screen and transforms from Blaxploitation to an adult theater at its end. The King would be abdicated with its closure and demolition.

Driveintheatre2001 on June 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

This Drive In was Twinned sometime between 1972 & 1979. The original screens backside faced Lamar. When you drove in, the 2nd screen was on the back, right side of the field. Wonder if this was done when the Starlite was either failing in business or closed…

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Updated link for my Apr 19, 2010 post above:

View link

matt54 on March 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Status of this theatre should be changed to “closed/demolished.”

matt54 on September 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Got it, Sam – thanks.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on September 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Matt, go to my link in the 2nd post, and click on 1979 tab on the right. You’ll see it then.

matt54 on September 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Billy, Billy, or Don – if the King was a twin, where was the second screen?

matt54 on September 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Sam, that other drive-in was the Starlite, billed on the screen tower as “Southwest’s Finest For Colored Americans.”

TLSLOEWS on April 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for the info Mike.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Well, the CINDERELLA/ KING DRIVE-In parked 900 cars and was owned by Virble post.This in the late 50’s,guys.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on April 19, 2010 at 5:31 am

Looks like about 2-3 blocks away was another drive-in, just over half the size…


matt54 on April 19, 2010 at 5:04 am

This theater was formerly known as the Cinderella.